June 2, 2023

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Prepare Efo Riro: A Yoruba Delicacy

Prepare Efo Riro: A Yoruba Delicacy

Efo Riro is a rich vegetable soup that is native to the Yorubas of Western Nigeria. The vegetables that can be used to cook this soup are Efo Shoko or Efo Tete (Green Amaranth). If these are not readily available where you live, leafy or frozen spinach is a very good substitute.

If you cannot find the ingredients to cook Edikang Ikong soup where you live, Efo Riro is is a Yoruba version of Efik/Ibibio’s Edikang Ikong.

Ingredients for Efo Riro

  • Assorted meat and fish. use a combination of the following:
    • Beef
    • Shaki (cow tripe)
    • Smoked fish
    • Dry fish
    • Stock fish
  • 20 cl palm oil
  • 500g Efo Shoko
  • 5 tatashe peppers
  • 2 tablespoons ground crayfish
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 small stock cubes
  • 2 tablespoons locust beans (iru)
  • Salt & Habanero / Scotch Bonnet peppers (to taste)
efo shoko
efo tete green amaranth

The following are the two vegetables that can be used in cooking Efo Riro. The first one and the first choice is Efo Shoko, the second is Efo Tete (Green Amaranth). Both are available in Nigerian markets.

Other meats you can add to Efo Riro:
The more the variety of meats and fish you can add to Efo Riro, the better so feel free to add: snails and other offals, ponmo (cow skin) etc.

Before you cook Efo Riro

  1. If you are using the hard stock fish, soak it for a few hours. Soak the dry fish till soft and debone.
  2. Cut the leafy vegetables
  3. Deseed the tatashe and grind till coarse.
  4. Prepare other ingredients: pound/blitz the pepper, dice the onions and grind the crayfish.

Cooking Directions

  1. Start cooking the shaki first with as little water as possible (see video below) as it is the toughest meat in the bunch. This soup should have as little water as possible so add small amounts of water at a time and top it up as you cook.
  2. When the shaki starts to curl, add the dry fish and stockfish.
  3. When the shaki is almost done, add beef, stock cubes and some of the onions and cook till all the meat and fish are well done. Set these aside.
  4. In another pot, pour the palm oil and heat it up. Once hot, add the remaining onions.
  5. Fry the tatashe peppers till there’s no more water in it. This should take about 15 minutes.
  6. Add the locust beans, crayfish, and stir very well.
  7. Add the cooked meat and fish, stir very well.
  8. Add the vgetables, stir very well, cover and once it heats up again, add salt to taste and take the pot off the stove.